To believe is to have an idea, to think, or to imagine that something can be true.

  • The police believe they have the man who robbed the store.
  • Tanya believes her son when he says he isn’t lying.
  • Do you believe in God?
  • What do you believe in?
  • I believe you can learn English if you really work hard at it.
  • Haruna believed in ghosts when she was a child, but she doesn’t believe in them now.
  • At first, the people of the town believed the boy who cried wolf, but after a few false cries for help, they stopped believing him.


Many small children believe in Santa Claus.

Sometimes "believe" is similar to the word "think."

  • I believe this is your cell phone. It was on the table where you were sitting.
  • They believe they have a solution to the problem.
  • I don’t believe we’ve met. My name is Paul.

The noun form of "believe" is "belief."

  • Those people have very strong beliefs.
  • Their beliefs prevent them from doing certain kinds of work.
  • What are your beliefs?

Note: The first syllable in "believe" is not accented. The vowel in the first syllable is a schwa sound.

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First published on August 27, 2012

Updated on September 21, 2017